Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tecali 4: two crosses

Finally, in addition to the stone fonts we saw at Santiago Tecali, two contrasting carved stone crosses are found in the precincts.
The Atrium Cross
Now standing before the parish church door, this is apparently a largely reconstructed version of the original monastery cross.
Mounted on a plinth carved with a skull and bones and incised with a long, dated inscription, the elongated cross has the squared shaft and long, slender arms of the Pueblan style. 
   The front of the cross is liberally sculpted with conventional Passion symbols in high, flat relief. Christ’s tunic on the neck is an unusual placement. Cannonball finials and a large, ornamental INRI plaque add to its imposing presence.
The Cloister Cross
The second, older cross, now standing in the center of the ruined cloister, is carved from dark basalt. Like the atrium cross, it is tall and slender although octagonal in section. Its profile is enhanced and streamlined by incised grooves, raised moldings and coffering along the facets. 
   No Passion symbols or other narrative reliefs disturb this linear symmetry apart from abbreviated sunflower finials on the arms and another ornamental INRI scroll atop the cross.  The base is inscribed with the date 1722.
text © 2016 Richard D. Perry.  color images courtesy of Felipe Falcón.

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